HTML/Training/Tag syntax

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Tag syntax

HTML is using tags for its syntax. A tag is composed with special characters: <, > and /. They are interpreted by softwares to compose an HTML element.

Decomposition of HTML elements

HTML Elements comes usually by tag pairs.


For opening a simple element with a start tag

  1. it starts with <
  2. then a list of characters without space, the tagname (or element)
  3. ends usually with a >.

Then closing the simple element with a end tag

  1. it starts with </
  2. then the same list of characters without space, the tagname (or element)
  3. ends usually with a >.

If the tagname is "cite", then you get


Some elements do not have an end tag (because they are implied by the following tags). For example you might have seen.


An element can have attributes to refine its meaning.


These attributes are specified on the start tag. They consist of a name and a value, separated by an "=" character. Such as:

<tagname attribute="value"></tagname>

In HTML, the attribute value can remain unquoted if it doesn't contain spaces or any of the following characters: " ' ` = < or >. Otherwise, it has to be quoted using either single or double quotes. The value, along with the "=" character, can be omitted altogether if the value is the empty string. Once you are working in a team you might want to choose a common way of authoring your code.

These are examples of syntaxes you might see on the Web:

<!-- empty attributes -->
<input disabled>
<input disabled="">
<input disabled=""/>

<!-- attributes with a value -->
<input name=address>
<input name='address'>
<input name="address">

See also 8.1.2 Elements.

Syntax error

See also 1.9.2 Syntax error

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